Makati, Philippines – January 22, 2021 Ayala Corporation Chairman and CEO Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala said in his keynote speech at Shareholders’ Association of the Philippines’ (SharePHIL) membership meeting that Filipino investors—big and small—are helping stimulate the country’s economy by supporting expansion despite the challenges presented by the pandemic.
Zobel said it is encouraging to see that more Filipinos are now participating in the stock market. The Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) recently reported that retail investors now account for 25.9% of total domestic investors, versus just 18.2% last year. PSE also anticipates additional IPOs and REITs this year.
“Businesses and investors of all sizes have a unique role to play to exponentially accelerate our recovery,” Zobel said. “Rest assured that you can count on the Ayala Group to be your friend and partner in promoting inclusive growth through smart investing; motivated by the principles of shared prosperity and inclusive capitalism.”
Last year, despite massive uncertainties, the Ayala Group continued investing in different sustainable projects alongside actively engaging with the government and the private sector in capacitating the country’s COVID-19 defense. The Ayala group firmly believes in promoting shareholder-focused capitalism to expand financial and economic inclusion across all market segments. Further, the group continuously seeks to find innovative ways to pivot its businesses to remain sustainable and relevant to the market it serves. These are the guiding principles for its investment priorities as they directly contribute to and demonstrate its partnership in nation building for nearly two centuries.
As such, amidst the pandemic, the Ayala group opened avenues for Filipino and foreign investors alike to participate in its growth ventures:
- Manila Water (MWC) and AC Energy both raised $800 million in sustainability and green bonds to finance water and waste water infrastructure projects in MWC’s East Zone concession area as well as expand renewable energy sources.
- AC Energy’s total green bond issuance is now at $1.17 billion, making it the largest green bond issuer in the Philippines and among the largest in Southeast Asia.
- Ayala Land launched the country’s first-ever real estate investment trust, called AREIT, which has a portfolio of commercial and office assets that have mostly been resilient during the pandemic.
BPI also pioneered COVID Action Response Bonds—or CARE Bonds—to help fund pandemic response initiatives. It also continues to offer a wide range of funds—more than 30 retail investment funds.
Despite the unprecedented economic slump in 2020, Zobel said the Ayala Group is cautiously optimistic for 2021 as mall traffic and remittances continue to improve. “We are at a critical time for the country. Aside from averting new COVID infections and ensuring proper vaccine administration, we face the huge task of reorienting our institutions towards sustained and inclusive economic growth.” Watch the full session here: https://www.facebook.com/SharePHIL/videos/1190121801408272